The Old Man On The Mountain

A View From the Backwoods of NH

In The News – April 2017

So I’m watching the news this morning, when up pops a story about a girl in Massachusetts. The story reveals how she, with tears in her voice, explains that her feelings have been deeply hurt by some of the kids in her school that are making fun of her 17 year old Down Syndrome sister. She goes on to sobbingly explain that her family being Black Muslims does not help their situation. The school responded that they’re “looking into it”.

And as I listened to this “news report”, a few things went through my mind. The first thing I asked myself is “how did this even GET on the news?” Is it a slow day in the Country and the World? Nothing of greater importance to focus on? Or maybe budgets are tight and news crews are stuck with “anything within 50 miles”. Or maybe there’s a new law now that “hurt feelings” is now unlawful, that the “sticks and stones” defense has been removed from the accepted list?

The next thing I thought about was the statement from the school that they are “looking into it”. To me, this is pretty lame, even by government standards. I have to assume (yes, I know how the word breaks down) that this individual reported this behavior to the school long before a news crew was dispatched to get “the story”. Yet here we are, local news and “we’re looking into it” as the current answer. It’s always good to see that our educational systems strive for excellence on a daily basis.

And then I thought about the girl. How her sensitivity to her sister’s lot in life was causing her such pain (not to mention the reputation of the Black Muslims). Because she lives with her sister day in and day out, she KNOWS what a remarkable person her sister is. And when others don’t, it upsets her. But we all know, kids CAN be cruel – mostly because they don’t have filters. They just say what’s on their minds without thought a forehand.

But what this poor girl doesn’t understand is that there really isn’t much difference between school and the real world. And no one’s explained that to her – not her parents or family, not the school and not her religion. Because if they had, she wouldn’t be upset – she’d be angry. She’d be angry because once the filters of adulthood go on, she’ll have to spend every day wondering what to and not to believe.

Because those same kids that are speaking their thoughts now will become the adults that still “think the same”, but just not say anything. Honesty may be taught in the home and in religion, but the dishonest far outweigh the honest in the real world. Just take a look at the leaders of both, and the scandals they’ve accrued and you’ll see what I mean.

They say the meek will inherit the earth, but I’m not so sure I believe that. I think the meek will be slaughtered first, much like the meek food chain animals we feast on now. I hope I’m wrong – I hope that the human race will learn to accept all other humans with grace and compassion, instead of fear and animosity.

But as I’ve been told (and read) so many times before – “Hope in one hand and shit in the other – see which one fills up first.” For this poor girl’s sake, I wish someone would help her develop a thick skin quickly – before the anger turns to hate. Fear has a way of doing that to anger…